OK, that sounds like a bigoted statement. It isn’t. It is a continuation of a comment I made in an earlier blog. I'm making a statement about "national character."
If you’ve had any connection to international relations thinking you know that the traditional international relations model used “national character” as a core concept. Today the comparable concept is ‘culture.”
In making this statement about Arabs and reason, I’m using that international relations concept as it refers to the people called "Arabs". The boundaries of "Arab" are not exact. The boundary definitely doesn’t include Kurds, Turks, Persians or Ethiopians. But the boundary does include virtually everyone who speaks Arabic.
Example of reasoning: My car is going 60 miles an hour; at 60 mph I need 240 feet to stop completely. That is a prediction based on reason.
Such a statement about cars and braking would not make any sense to an Arab. An Arab would argue that stopping distance depends on the driver, the car and most importantly who are the people involved in talking about reason. The Arab would want to know what are the rewards and penalties for agreeing with this auto braking statement about reason. Most importantly, the ability to agree with this automotive statement about reasoning would be heavily influenced by the familial relationship of the people carrying on the conversation.
Arabs adjust all facts all contingencies to the status of the immediate conversation. That makes reason impossible because reason is stable, continuous and generally context independent.
The absence of reasoning helps explain why Arabs think that their behavior and public statements do not influence what Israelis or the world does. Offer peace, send suicide bombers, fire missiles, complain about mistreatment, demand money, wail about homes being bulldozed, teach children to hate Israel; run newspaper, TV and radio programs about the need to kill Israelis, kidnap and kill Israelis, claim to be peace loving people and blame the World Trade Center destruction and all the problems of the world on Israel. No assumption that these acts have consequences.
Of course there are probably one or two Arabs who can reason. I’m not a bigot.